Sunday, September 28, 2014

Happy Anniversary, a Month Early

We are strange people. We have two anniversaries -- one on 10/23 that commemorates when we got legally married at our favorite Mexican restaurant, just a Justice of the Peace and two friends in tow, and another on 10/31 that commemorates our actual wedding ceremony in our backyard. This year, our fifth anniversary, we found ourselves with a choice. We could celebrate on our actual anniversary (usually we do something quiet at home for the 23rd and then we do something fun and more out and about for the 31st), especially since Halloween is on a Friday this year, but that is smack dab in the middle of our next attempt. Our other choice: we could take this weekend, a beautiful, last-weekend-in-September, and celebrate our beautiful five years together as any other couple NOT in the throes of infertility would. Out at a restaurant, with a cellar wine and maybe a glass-of-champagne apertif for toasting, without any thought to what time we need to get back for shots or feeling crappy from shots or wondering if this glass of wine or that sugary creme brulee is lowering our chance of success.

So we did it this weekend.

It was an absolutely beautiful day yesterday, and I want to end on how gorgeous the day was, and how amazing the dinner was, and how nice it was to celebrate our anniversary together, somewhat unfettered by infertility.

But, it was only somewhat unfettered.

It started with my morning chores--I wanted to do fall garden cleanup, while I can still bend and sweat and be out in the sun without worry that the drugs are making me photosensitive or worrying about raising my internal body temp too much or realizing that you bend with your uterus. (It's true--weird but true. It's almost impossible to do anything without your uterus being in on the action, which I never ever thought about until all this nonsense.) My butterfly garden has been awesome this year -- plants are reblooming that I don't think are supposed to, my annuals are having a rejuvenation and there's gorgeous deep purple heliotrope exploding all over again, and the deer have managed not to decimate my sedum. My other gardens? This fairly wet summer with all the heavy rains really did a number on them. My coneflowers went insane and are now this cricket thicket that is a lovely microcosm of wildlife (goldfinches! crickets! katydids! strange flying insects I've never seen before! bees!), but they look hideous. Like I'm trying to recreate the briars in Sleeping Beauty or something. I have to be kind to myself, because every year at this time it becomes sort of a Garden of Death, but I like to keep the dead coneflowers around because the lovely goldfinches hang out in there and eat the seeds (completing the vicious cycle of more coneflowers than I know what to do with, and I think next spring there will be an aggressive culling...). Those pretty golden songbirds greet me in the morning when I go to school and in the evening when I return, and they just make me so darn happy. So, if it doesn't look so hot right now, SO WHAT. But still, as I was cleaning that up and yanking out the insane cherry tomato vines that are now producing rotten, mealy, and cracked fruits that litter our patio and back driveway, I kept thinking, "Ugh. Gardening's supposed to be your thing, your activity where you feel like you can actually sustain life, and look at this mess. This year even THAT is suffering." It didn't help that as I was trying to harvest what few decent tomatoes were left, I had brought out one of our beautiful big white pasta bowls from Crate&Barrel, a store we don't have up here, and I DROPPED IT. It shattered all over the place. Now we have only one. Who uses just one pasta bowl? I guess it could be a server of sorts, but that kind of took my lingering, looming feelings of personal failure and magnified them. I'm not even on the drugs yet, what am I going to do when everything is amplified by insane hormonal peaks and troughs? I am a wee tiddly bit worried about that.
The butterfly garden, in its fall glory. 

I got over it though, and in the end everything was cleaner, and looked much, much better. And I stopped muttering swears under my breath as I cleaned house, and I didn't even turn into a whirling dervish when I was cleaning up hosta sticks and discovered that maybe I should wait until a good cold snap to do that, because of all the beautiful (but not when they're IN YOUR FACE) spiraled spiderwebs in between them. Including one with a half-dollar-sized orb spider in it that barely missed becoming a hair ornament. EW EW EW.

So then we went to lunch, and while we were sitting there, Bryce mentioned that he needed to set me up for my class. That present that he got me for my birthday, the membership to Writer's and Books? I finally grew a pair and took a class over the summer, and I LOVED it. It's good for me to have dedicated time to just write, and not necessarily about all...this. There's another class this fall that I'm looking forward to, but it's on a weeknight from 7-9. No worries, I thought. I'd be busy and tired from school, but it doesn't start until October, so the September insanity should be calmed down and I should be in more of a groove.


Except as we were talking about it, Bryce was like, "Wait, what time is it?" and I was like, "7-9. So you won't see me in the evenings on that day, but no worries! You'll have you time!" And then he just stared at me. "How long does the class go?" he asked. "I don't know, it's at least six weeks or so though." And then he stared again. "From 7-9? For six weeks? Um, what about your shots?"


Yup, that's right, this last cycle we switched our PIO to evenings, which was an AMAZING thing convenience-wise. It was awesome. No worrying about getting up hyper early and trying to get Bryce to be semi-conscious for the sticking of the 1 1/2 inch needle in my derriere. No worrying about being late to school. But, we did them at 8:30 pm. Right in the middle of class.

I teared up. What the hell? Why must infertility interfere with EVERY ASPECT of our lives? This cycle, where there's all these fancy new pieces in play, where I don't want to mess with ANYTHING and do it all 100% by the book, and now it looks like I can't take this class that I was really looking forward to. Unless somehow I could take my shots at 6ish, and Bryce would have to get out of work in time to do that, and he'd have to come home and then go to the gym some nights, but if that's even remotely going outside of what's normally recommended then I DON'T WANT TO DO IT. I am too good at finding ways to blame myself for failure. I don't want anything that can make me feel like I messed with something for my own convenience and so maybe, some cosmic force thinks that my top priority is not motherhood but something else, and so no wonder I have no baby. (This is exactly the insanity my brain is capable of. Is this true? Probably not. Would anyone sane ever think that my priorities are out of whack? NO. But my mind is able to twist just about anything into a reason why we can't get pregnant. I won't even let Bryce trap chipmunks because I'm worried killing them would translate to bad karma. Help!)

But, we'll ask about the timing of the shots, and maybe it's not a big deal. And if it is a big deal, there will be other classes. It's just that this one looks awesome.

The rest of the day was good -- I sat outside and read a book for school while Bryce tinted walnut for the bookcase he's building us upstairs, and I started getting ready one step at a time for our fancy dinner out. I had a dress in mind, that I wore last December after our failed DE FET and when I was feeling quite chubby, so I was pretty sure it would fit. I washed my hair and did that first, then I put on my makeup, a variation on what I wore for our wedding (kind of pinup-lite, with red lips and black-linered, neutral-shadowed eyes). I was feeling HOT. And then I went to put on my dress. OH HOLY JEEZUM. It didn't fit. And then my second choice didn't look so great. And then I started to panic.

"Okay," I thought, "No worries, we're in a Sin Bin so I can feel fine wearing nice jeans and a sexy top. Yeah, let's do that." (A Sin Bin is a private room for two off one of the dining rooms upstairs in this restaurant, that a long time ago used to be an, uh, all-in-one, whatever-you-want pitstop along the Erie Canal.) My jeans fit fine, and I figured I would wear my ridiculously old stiletto "barbie shoes," high heels that look like they're out of the 1970's that I absolutely love but that are less than stable on the tootsies, and a black top. Except the one I had in mind seemed a bit short and tight and roly-poly looking. So I put on a shirt that I wear to work, that has a lightweight black cardigan and an ivory-and-black printed shell that's sewn in (lovely for the busty ladies, no worrying about accidental overexposure). Except it didn't feel particularly sexy. I dressed it up with the heels and some nice jewelry, but I felt fat. and I felt like I really can't pretend that I don't need to go up a size, or at least find some shirts meant for ladies who have all the right curves in all the right places, and maybe a few extra thrown in. BLAST YOU, INFERTILITY! It is SO irritating, because I can honestly say that I don't eat any more than I used to. If anything, I eat less. I am very careful about what I put in my body, and I have been really good about exercising. I have another week and a half for busting my butt at the gym before I can't do it anymore (at least vigorously) thanks to the hysteroscopy and then being on stimming medications, but I do have little windows. And I can always walk. I just don't get why my body insists on expanding this way. It seems unnecessarily cruel, and the fact that I'm doing everything I can and it makes no difference and everyone keeps telling me that "this isn't something to worry about" is all, all frustrating. I didn't want to buy new clothes due to expanding size unless they had elastic waistbands and pouches for a baby belly. I don't want to spend money on clothes right now, but I honestly think it will make me feel better to have clothes that don't make me feel like a stuffed sausage, and more choices that make me feel good about myself instead of reminding me that I am bigger than I was last year. Argh. The weird thing is some of my pants fit, and some don't, and they're ALL THE SAME SIZE. So frustrating.

The good thing is, Bryce finds me ridiculously sexy no matter what. And maybe even a little more so when I've got more to, um, hang on to. So I have to try to quiet the angry, self-hater in my mind and listen to my husband who tells me, FREQUENTLY, that I am beautiful, I am sexy, I am HOT. Eventually I felt that way when we were on our way out to dinner, but it was kind of a wake-up call that I should really get more clothes that make me feel more comfy in my own skin. Since all this extra seems to not be going anywhere, and with a wonderful cocktail of femara, follistim, PIO, and benadryl...I don't think that's changing anytime soon.

SO, now for the purely beautiful part. Dinner.

We had our Sin Bin, so we could be as silly as we wanted and didn't have to be all formal and stiff for the sake of other diners. (Not that we always keep that in mind, but it was nice to not have to be even a little aware of others.) We toasted our early anniversary, and how amazing it is that five years have gone by in what seems like a really long time (like we've never NOT been together) and also just like yesterday (I remember so clearly everything about our wedding day, from the insane howling wind, to the last minute decision that we'd be ok outside and it wouldn't rain, to feeling so insanely lucky to be promising our lives to each other). We ate baby spinach salad with shaved goat gouda, gala apples, marcona almonds, and apple cider ginger dressing. We saw a little beetle that was coming in to the old building, hanging out above our heads, and named him Bertrand Francois Dubois. He oversaw our romantic evening without doing anything unpredictable or disturbing, so all was good. We had the most delicious beef tenderloin with bordelaise sauce, cheddar potato gratin, and swiss chard. We drank our dusty cellar bottle of 2005 Phelan Segur St. Estephe wine. It couldn't have paired better if we tried. We laughed, we talked, we managed not to talk about infertility barely at all. (I'm pretty sure there was a brief detour in one conversation, but it was expertly diverted and there were no sad eyes, no tears at dinner). We hung out for about two and a half hours, luxuriating in our delicious foods and yummy beverages, savoring all these moments. I hate to call it this, because so far it has failed to live up to its name, but dinner was my "last hurrah" before this next cycle. Now starts the cutting back on the sugar, on the coffee, and no alcohol. But last night, in the little candlelit Sin Bin, it was all deliciousness without any thought to prepping for yet another cycle.
A little blurry, but all fancy'd up and ready to go enjoy our anniversary
dinner together. God, my husband is devastatingly handsome.

It was beautiful to have a night to celebrate that was free of the things that would interfere in late October. Free of drugs, free of restrictions, free of that specter that could all too easily bring the tears on. Was yesterday totally free of fertility-related frustration? No. But the evening was fertility-free, romantic, and relaxing...and in the end, that's all that really matters.


  1. So glad you had such a nice evening out!

  2. I thought I left a comment here the other day, but I am still getting used to my new phone & must have screwed something up. Anyway, I can't remember everything I said, but you two both look great! I hope you are able to find a way to remedy the class situation without feeling like you are giving up too much on either front (professional & baby-making)! As always I am thinking of you & wishing you the best in this next cycle!